Winners and Losers: Post Iowa Edition

loneganWINNERS

Steve Lonegan

The feisty former mayor of Bogota last night celebrated the victory of his presidential candidate from ground zero in Iowa. Now New Jersey’s best known movement conservative will go to New Hampshire with the Ted Cruz campaign.

Michael Patrick Carroll

Yes, it’s an uphill battle for Cruz in New Hampshire, but he’ll likely have some traction down south with his evangelical footprint. A veteran 25th District assemblyman with a knack for public speaking, Carroll pulled a Joe Namath last week in an interview with PolitickerNJ reporter Alyana Alfaro, personally guaranteeing Cruz’s victory.

David Larsen

The perennial CD7 Republican challenger backs Ted Cruz for president. It’s a long way to the irrelevant New Jersey Primary and Cruz could be toast by the time it comes along, but Larsen got a shot in the arm last night as he tries for a fourth time to knock off incumbent U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7).

Hiver Ambrose

The veteran Democratic Party operative called the GOP race early Monday in a conversation with PolitickerNJ. A lifelong stapler, folder and envelope sealer who cherishes organization, Ambrose said of Donald Trump’s backers, “They don’t have staying power. Caucuses are a process, not a click and leave.”

Cory Booker

Hillary Clinton in a life and death struggle with a 74-year old Socialist from Brooklyn makes the argument that if weathers the primary – probably looking like the movie version of Joey Giarddello after his title fight with Hurricane Carter – she’ll need an infusion of energy. She’ll also have Black Democrats to thank for her primary victory. She can accomplish both by puting the 46-year old silver-tongued senator from New Jersey on her national ticket. Watch for Booker to be all over South Carolina in the coming weeks.

Fernando Alonso

The Bergen County Republican stands in a strong position now as the most visible New Jersey backer of the campaign of Marco Rubio, who placed a strong third in Iowa and heads into New Hampshire as the establishment Republicans’ best shot at wrestling the nomination away from Cruz/Trump.

Alan Steinberg

PolitickerNJ’s columnist was a very early Jeb Bush backer who early identified the weaknesses in his candidate’s campaign and moved to the Cruz camp with an official endorsement.

Ras Baraka

The mayor of Newark let PolitickerNJ know yesterday that he doesn’t yet have a presidential candidate. “Ras is too cool for presidential politics,” a source explained. But Baraka’s unwillingness to commit at this point – on the heels of the tightest of tight elections – advantageously puts him in a position of being able to have interested parties court him and kiss his ring. A Baraka backer said the mayor – whatever policy similarities he may have with Bernie Sanders – is likely to go with Hillary Clinton. Baraka’s most significant ally, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, is a staunch Clinton backer. Fulop wants to run for governor in 2017. Lining up support behind Sanders is a Fulop rival: Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19), who also wants to run for governor. It’s hard – given the closeness Baraka has to Fulop – to picture the mayor of Newark empowering Wisniewski with a prime headline: “Sanders extends footprint into Newark.” Plus, powerful Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo staunchly supports Clinton. It all just adds up to Baraka backing the former secretary of state. Still, he can kick his feet up and let other people scramble after his formal endorsement.

LOSERS

Hillary Clinton

After all that time and money and organization and name ID and lessons from the past, the former Secretary of State State barely eked out a win against a Brooklyn-born Socialist from Vermont. The establishment here can shuck and jive and spin her effort as an achievement, but that was a very bad showing from Clinton last night, one that arguably reveals fatal flaws in her candidacy.

Chris Christie

Tenth place. He can say it’s all about New Hampshire, baby, and how much he loves and has loved and will always love the Granite State, but tenth is tenth in Iowa and that doesn’t look good as the New Jersey governor tries to regain his footing up north in time for February 9th.

The New Jersey Political Establishment

The state’s already irrelevant in the process. Now the backers of Clinton and Christie are forced to run around with knitted brows, unable to do anything to help their quicksand-beset candidates.

Joe Kyrillos

The elegant state senator from Monmouth County ate a stiff jab last night with the absolutely abysmal performance by his presidential candidate, former First Son Jeb Bush. Bush came in sixth place last night with three percent of the vote. Awful.

Mike Doherty

The movement conservative from Western New Jersey is the sole backer of Trump among Trenton elected officials. The billionaire real estate tycoon’s second place finisher in Iowa behind Ted Cruz demonstrated cracks in the campaign strategy that have the 23rd District senator shaking off a loss this morning.

Mike Beson

He was loyal, the longtime and likable Democratic Party operative from Monmouth County. But Martin O’Malley’s anemic campaign shriveled up at last and dragged the Maryland governor unceremoniously out of the primary, along with Beson, his lone New Jersey ally.

Leonard Lance

We’re not saying all is lost, but it’s a jittery condition to be an establishment Republican when the guy who’s challenging you backed the winning candidate in the Iowa caucus. Lance does have a solid history with Lonegan. He may end up having to lean heavily on the former mayor of Bogota before it’s all over – another reason why Lonegan tops the winners list.

Winners and Losers: Post Iowa Edition